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Baked Nimki | Namak Paare | Savory Diamond Cuts | No Butter No Ghee Indian snacks

Diamond cuts are my all time favourite, but of late I am starting to love the savory ones. During my last visit to Amma's place she made me masala diamond cuts and boy I was so so excited, the deepfried kind. I still have those clicks sleeping in my draft I've been waiting for Amma to pass me the recipe. So the otherday my hands were itchy to bake, yea yea you read it right :P once you are a baker you seem to think that anything can be baked, I mean you talk and dream about baking. And I for sure am a bit nutty baker, I dream and have sleepless nights about what to bake, how to bake, what combination, which frosting :P sounds funny? well I think its absolutely normal to understand this if you are a baker too. So I thought my not do a baked version of savory diamond cuts and the result was superb. Mind you no maida (APF), no ghee, no butter and I still managed to bake decent looking and great tasting diamond cuts or Nimki or Namkeen or Namak Paare. I spiced the dough up with crushed peppers and it tasted fantastic. So during this festive season so something a little guilt free for the one's who cannot take the deep fried and no sugar goodies.

Restaurant Style Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani | Easy Chicken Biryani Recipe

Biryani is one of the most adored recipe in our family. It all started from the time I was a kid, every Sunday lunch menu would be a special biryani from Amma mostly Chicken Biryani and occasionally Lamb biryani. Long back I posted a super simple Chicken Biryani Amma Style but over the years R & me have explored so much when it comes to Biryani and one version that usually makes us crave for would be the Hyderabadi Mutton biryani and today I wanted to do a twist to this recipe make it using Chicken and a restaurant style Chicken Hyderabadi Biryani. Usually when you order for any biryani in a restaurant you will 90% not find whole spices likes bay leaf, cinnamon stick, star anise and so on in the biryani and the only visible ingredients would be rice, meat, onions, tomatoes and at times mint leaves. I was intrigued by how they can come out with such fantastic taste despite not adding the whole spices. When I did my research to find a restaurant style chicken biryani I bumped on this recipe by Vah chef and the next weekend I made this for our Sunday lunch. It was a perfect restaurant style biryani :-) you have to try it to know how great it tastes.

Palak Poori Recipe | Spinach Poori | Easy Breakfast Recipe | Step by Step

Poori is a childhood favourite for R and me :-) we both love it so much hence I make it once or twice a month as a breakfast recipe. Like always I love to have twists to usual day to day recipes and this time I tried Palak Poori (Spinach Poori) and my husband totally loved this flavourful poori :-) and what a great way to add spinach into the menu. I would not say that its the most healthiest way but a cheats' way to include greens into meals ;-) try this poori for fussy eaters and I am sure they will love it. The secret ingredient in this poori is the use of fennel seeds, it does give a lovely flavour to the poori. The biggest tip to make perfect poori is to make the dough stiff and firm and not soft like how we knead the dough for chappati. 

Kesar Nan Khatai Cookies | Flavored Nan Khatai Biscuit

I love Indian bakery goodies, and of all the different bakes my most favourite is Nan Khatai and since its festival season I thought why not doing a twist with the traditional Nan Khatai by making it a Saffron flavoured. Nan Khatai are buttery melt in the mouth cookies and have a crumbly texture. The cookies are great as a snack and can be wrapped as a treat for guests or kids. Saffron Nan Khatai are firm on the outside with a slight mithai flavour on the inside. The topped nuts add to the crunch and taste. These colourful Saffron Nan Khatai are sure a joy to taste and attractive looking. Give this a dry during the festive time. 

Kheema Cutets | Goat Keema Cutlet | Keema Starter Recipe

Mutton Kheema Cutlets are a big hit at home, Amma makes it so well and as kids we never complain to eat them :-). She made sure to do it once a month and when everyone is at home. A super simple recipe and you can even do it ahead and then shallow fry them when you want it. The minced meat is pre-cooked and made into dumplings along with mashed potatoes and spices. Later coated with batter rolled on breadcrumbs and then shallow fried. You really do not need a side to dip these cutlets they taste great on their own.

So last weekend when we had friends over for lunch I made these as a starter and they simply enjoyed these Kheema cutlets a lot and everyone wanted a second and third serving ;-) I couldn't be more happy. 

Mysore Pak | South Indian Mysore Pak

Have you ever tried something and it ended up as a kitchen flop and never had the guts to try it again? well that's me. Last year around this time I tried this Mysore Pak recipe and it ended up in a Mysore Fudge all gooey and although it tasted pretty ok I was not so pleased with it and decided to bin it. Seriously felt bad that I wasted that amount of ghee. After a year I am back again with doing this recipe of Mysore Pak and it turned out just right. Nevertheless I have conquered the fear to try mysore pak at home and have been waiting to hear what my husband has to say about it as I try to type this post here. Will update the verdict soon :-) I promise. Divya thank you so much for this lovely recipe, all credits to you.

Mysore Pak is a speciality ghee sweet made in Karnataka that is loaded with a lot of ghee and tends to melt in your mouth. There are various versions of Mysore pak starting from firm porous burfi type, soft melt in mouth and a mix of both you can say inbetween firm less porous  burfi kind and yet melt in mouth soft texture. This version that I have shared here is a fair mix of both the soft and hard type mysore pak. If u are a beginner or doing this for the first time I suggest you take a helping hand while doing Mysore Pak

Banana Kuzhi Paniyaram | Sweet Paniyaram Recipe | Banana Coconut Paniyaram

Banana Bajji, Banana Chips, Banana cake anything bananas I go bananas ;-) I love every cooked variety of banana recipe but somehow I do not enjoy eating this one fruit as a fruit. Note I never said I hate it, I simply do not enjoy it. Being a fruit lover and a blogger, I do try to cook with fruits often. But this banana paniyaram is something I have been hooked onto as a teenager. Amma usually fried this batter in oil, they are called Pazha Appam but I love this paniyaram version better since it is less calories. R on the other hand has never tried any kind of banana recipes other than the bakes that I do now and then. This version of paniyaram he loved it so much. I served it alongside tea on a sunday evening. 

Banana Paniyaram is a quick to do snack when you are craving for something sweet. It is spongy, sweet and light to bite. I have sweetened the batter with jaggery syrup, you can even use palm jaggery syrup for a more healthy alternative. For diabetics you can make it with sugarfree.

Sakkarai Pongal | Sweet Pongal | South Indian Rice Sweet

Shakkarai Pongal is a sweetened rice that is famous in Tamil Nadu. Usually made during festivals, Pongal to be exact. But as far as I know this sweet pongal is a common occurrence in my home right from childhood days till now. Earlier it used to be Appa who is a big fan of Shakkarai pongal and to fulfil his sweet tooth Amma used to make this pongal loaded with ghee and nuts but now its my husband's favourite  of course I had to get it right and according to his taste. There are various versions of Shakkarai Pongal in every household, my version is a quickie and without milk, so you can call it a simple Chakkarai pongal. Since its R's favourite  it had to be blogged. I feel that I have not done justice to the pictures and the one and only reason for this is R himself, cos he did not let me click, as he was waiting to enjoy his share of pongal which was being captured :-P. Once a month I make both Ven Pongal and Shakkari Pongal at home for our Saturday breakfast menu. So to make matters simple I pressure cook raw rice and moong dal until soft, mash it up using a laddle and divide it for the 2 recipes and do the rest. So without much delay lets go to the recipe

Reshmi Kebab | Creamy Chicken Kebab | Oven baked Reshmi Kebab | Chicken Starter Recipe

Are you a Kebab lover like me? Both R & me are great fans of tandoori chicken, chicken tikka and Reshmi Kebab is another variation to the spicy tandoori varieties like Tandoori Chicken, Chicken Tikka... etc. A Kebab is usually a skewer based tandoori recipe, but here I have used the same marinate for regular chicken pieces and broiled them in the oven to get a tandoori effect. Although you can use the same marinate to broil boneless chicken thighs or even minced chicken and roll them on wooden skewers and broil for the same temperature. I made this as a starter for a meal we planned for a lovely couple a few days ago. Everyone really enjoyed this Reshmi Kebab and I was so pleased :-)

Reshmi Kebab is made with marinated chicken in full fat cream, pepper, kastoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves), mint leaves and salt. This tender meat is then oven broiled to get a perfect tandoori effect. Its mild in spices and you do not need any artificial colouring, yet the chicken is succulent and juicy holding its flavours. 

Apple Lapsi | Apple Kesari | Rajastani Lapsi | Apple and daliya halwa

It was again another weekend and I was busy in the kitchen to stir some recipes. I had a sweet tooth calling hence made this simple apple lapsi which I had bookmarked long back from my dear friend +Preeti Tamilarasan . Since I had all the ingredients in hand I just went ahead with the recipe as I was cooking other recipes alongside. As I was eager to taste the lapsi when it still hot, I burnt my tongue :-( does this happen to you? and later no matter how much I tried to taste this lapsi after it cooled down I still could not actually taste the sweetness... grrrr I was bit bugged and decided to reserve some for myself in the refrigerator to try the next day. And to my surprise it was too good. For all those you do not what lapsi is its a famous Rajasthani sweet usually done to feast on important occasions like festivals, marriage feasts and also house warming. Since all the ingredients are easily found in South India its something we all ought to try. I can say that its a good counter part to the Rava Kesari that is quite famous in South India. But nevertheless both kesari and lapsi have their uniqueness in flavour and texture.

Easy Chana Masala with Coconut | Chana Kurma | Chickpeas Curry Recipe

One big favourite of mine from the legume family is Chickpeas. I simply love it in a pulao or curry or even as a sundal (stir-fry). I have posted Chickpeas Pulao and Chickpeas Sundal earlier, so I felt the urge to post a Chickpeas Coconut Curry/ Channa Kurma (with coconut and tomato). That said my husband on the other had does not love like chickpeas in any form. He does not find it interesting or even appetizing to eat...sign... So now you know why chickpeas does not appear on the blog frequently. But I do have days where I want to have what I want to have and made this Kurma just for myself, yes your read it right ;-) I made this kurma with a handful of Chickpeas and there are no words to describe how happy I really was enjoying it all alone ;-) food does make me happy!

Wheat Flour Almond Cookie | Atta Badam Biscuit Recipe | Cardamom Flavoured Cookie

;-) How fun would life be if cookies were perfect for diet ??? sigh... As I write this post I  so miss munching on these buttery cookies that I baked a fortnight ago. I love to bake and the baking bug seem to have vanished now and apparently when I do I seem to do it quite frequently. Does this happen to you? as of now I am on a baking low, so hence to boost up my spirits thought of doing this post on cookies. There cannot be an easier recipe as this for someone who is a beginner in baking. And I have to mention that these cookies don't have any baking powder or baking soda so its kids friendly in every way.

Apple Oats Porridge | Apple Oats Breakfast Recipe | Oats Recipe

'An Apple a day keeps the doctor away', we all know this but still tell me how many of us have an apple a day? Even I don't, so the other day I had this reader who requested me for a different oats porridge recipe, since I had already posted a savoury version of oats porridge - Masala Oats, I thought why not post a sweeter version along with fruit. This is sure a quick and simple recipe, you can even serve it for kids. Apple tend to have a natural sugar and I have partially cooked it along with oats and milk to have a sweetened yet fragrant taste. Topping nuts on this oats add a lovely crunch to this porridge, I love to have this warm and even cold both ways it tastes amazing.

Kerala Chicken Roast | Indian Chicken Roast

My love for Chicken has no limits :-) every fortnight we have a dish with Chicken and trust me I usually love make Chicken Masala / Thokku rather than a plain Chicken Curry. This Kerala Chicken Roast is a family favourite and is great as a side for white rice / appam/ dosa / idly. I would call this a quick marination recipe and also one that is slow cooked to get its flavours. So make sure you take time to do this curry but I promise it tastes better than it looks :P. I had to serve husband his lunch and then click pictures and hence I could not do much justice with the captures. 

Kerala Chicken Roast is marinated with spices and floured, fried to hold its flavours and then cooked with a masala/ thokku in a slow flame to develop flavours. Its a great and satisfying side to any main and is not very spicy in my opinion. You can adjust the spices according to your taste and liking but do follow the same method of cooking for a great tasting Chicken Roast.

Homemade Ghee Recipe | How to make Ghee at home | Step by Step

I never know an Indian who hates Ghee, have you? Most Indian sweets and recipes call for Ghee and I feel its apt to have a post on how to make Ghee in my space. I love the fragrance and taste of ghee on hot white rice/ sambar sadam but I love it all the more in sweets. If North India are known for sweets using milk, South India is known for Ghee sweets right from the famous Pure Ghee Mysore Pak to the Maavu Ladoos Ghee is adorned. Although I must admit that I am a lazy person who would prefer to pick a pack of ghee from the supermarket, I have made it a point to make ghee at home, just like ginger-garlic paste, coconut milk, tamarind paste and so on. I have to say there cannot be anything near the homemade ghee and the way your kitchen is full of aroma of the ghee is totally heavenly. Reminds me that Amma too makes ghee at home although her version is with curry leaves to give an extra punch but somehow I did not add curry leaves or rock salt to this recipe. Since I love it plain and pure so that I can use it for savory and sweet dishes.

Wheat Semolina Upma | Godumai Rava Upma | Samba Rava Diabetic friendly Recipe

Samba Rava or Wheat Semolina Upma is one of my favourite and go to recipe these day. I simply love to enjoy this upma with Ketchup or curd. There is a slight twist to this recipe and I learnt this from R's aunt who made this for us when we visited her. Also I find samba rav/ wheat sooji at its best in Tamilnadu, in Karnataka we get very course wheat rava that resemble saw dust... grrr.. So on our way back we picked a 5 kg Wheat rava back home :) and ever since I have made this upma countless number of times. You might ask me does this sooji even have a taste? well the secret is in the preparation really. Of course me being me tried various versions of breakfast & dinner recipes using Samba rava which will appear in the blog I promise. You know many of my friends do not like samba rava and one big reason is that it tastes bland and unlike the white sooji its counterpart which absorbs much flavours samba is a little tricky, but don't worry this recipe will sure result in a great tasting upma with flavour. I have posted earlier a Samba Rava upma which is more like a main which needs a curry to to paired with unlike this recipe here.

Red Apple Pickle | Instant apple pickle

R & Me are big pickle fans, we always buy a bottle of Priya's Urugai no matter where we are, that crazy. But after marriage comes the idea of making pickle at home. For a person like me who can make pickle at home, I am sure anyone can. I always am this person who would love to wind up all the kitchen work under an hour and that includes cleaning, washing etc. Pickles usually have a long process and I love the shortcut version of instant pickles which still hold and develop lots of flavours. I have few other instant pickles which are a big hit at home Tomato Pickle & Mango Pickle. So the other day I had nearly 2 dozen apples and was wondering what to do with them and I was not looking at a sweet recipe so I got this idea of doing a pickle with apples. The result was fabulous, R loved it so much that he had it with his dosa, idly, rice, chappati and even with  curd ;-) the red apples did have a slight sweetness to them I balanced it with lemon juice. 

Eggless Butterless Sugarless Ragi Banana Choco-chip Muffins | Vegan Ragi Banana Muffins

One of my recent trials in the kitchen was with Palm Jaggery/ Karuppati syrup. I had got this idea from Priya aks of using Palm Jaggery as syrup for daily tea and I wanted to make use of a big batch of this syrup using karupatti which was lying unused in the kitchen and I felt it was time to use it up. Thank you aks for the syrup idea, it is fantastic. And I made aks Choco Ragi Paniyaram using this syrup and it turned out so fabulous that I wanted to give a try to using this syrup in baking and vola I made ragi, banana muffins sweetened with an Indian natural sugar Karupatti/ Palm Jaggery adn the result was a fabulous moist and tasty muffin that is best for those who want to go on a low sugar or no sugar diet and also for those who are looking at baking healthy for their family. Give it a try and I am sure you will not spot that there is no sugar in this muffins. Also wanted to say that these muffins are vegan (no dairy), egg-free, butter-free and Sugarless too... doesn't this sound amazing? Please drop in your thoughts about these muffins below :-)

Kollu Rasam | Horsegram Tamarind Curry | Kongu Recipe | Step by Step

Kollu Rasam is a dish prepared in Kongunadu delicacy usually made to treat cold, cough and even aid weight loss. After marriage only I got to know about this recipe from my MIL and husband. My husband used to keep telling me about this rasam recipe that his mom usually makes at home. I was totally new to Kongu samayal and slowly I am learning how to make recipes one by one. Although there are various versions of this rasam online I am posting my own version here. My MIL usually grinds horsegram after cooking it and then adds to the curry but I used a mashed version of horsegram. 

Ragi Chocolate Milkshake | Fingermillet Chilled Drink Recipe | Ragi Recipe

I love recipes using Ragi/ Fingermillet, we all know the benefits of this millet and try to use it on our day to day diet. Off late I have been trying new recipes using ragi that I keep posting in my blog from time to time. One good thing is that R and me we both love Ragi, I tried this Ragi chocolate milkshake sometime back and I have made this around 4-5 times and before I could think of clicking some pictures for the blog this milkshake has vanished ;-) and the big kid at home (husband) never seems to lose his excitement about this drink. I am sure kids and adults will enjoy this equally.

Chocolate Semolina Pudding | Chocolate Kesari | Kids Chocolate Dessert

Chocolate Semolina Pudding/ Chocolate Kesari is one yum and quick dessert to make when you are craving for some quick and simple dessert to do for those moments you want an instant dessert for the sweet tooth. I have done this so many times as its R's favourite and it never seems to lose its charm with us ;-) Although my husband is not a great chocolate fan as I am, he still asks me to do this chocolate pudding. I picked this recipe from my dear friend Sangee's blog. Thanks Sangee for this wonderful dessert and now its our family favourite. 

Chocolate Semolina Pudding is more like Rava Kesari with a twist of adding cocoa powder with milk and vanilla essence. The result is a luscious dessert for those sweet moments, you can go one step ahead like I have done and make it with ghee which is totally worth it all.

Homemade Breadcrumbs using stovetop | How to do breadcrumbs at home | Step by Step

Breadcrumbs are easy to make and can be stored for upto 3 months in the refrigerator covered and packed in a good air locked container. I usually use bread that is about to be stale toast it and then crumble it using a mixer. I later use up breakcrumbs to make cutlets, dumplings and kola urundais. I find the store bought breadcrumbs are too grainy and cost quite a lot too. When we can make breadcrumbs at home why buy store bought bread crumbs? You do not need an oven or a toaster to toast bread, here I have shared a simple and easy way how to do bread crumbs using stove stop method with stepwise instructions.

Kerala Egg Roast | Nadan Mutta Roast | Egg Masala Indian | Step by Step

Everyday I hop into my blog, write a few lines put the post into draft to sleep and wind-away. Sheesh these past 3-4 days this the only activity in my blog. I want to post everyday and somehow I just keep postponing. Sometimes I just need a big boost to keep the blogging mojo. I have so many requests from my readers on various recipes, as promised will keep posting them as and when I find time. After a good rest I am back with a lip smacking post of Kerala Egg Roast, a recent favourite among the family. I must tell you that my husband is a picky eater and someone who does not enjoy eggs, can you believe it? I mean he would eat bakes with eggs but its the hardboiled, scrambled and eggy curries that he purely does not enjoy. But me being me does cook with eggs every now and them, not like I am a big fan of them but I do love egg based recipes. This is purely a reason why you would not find many egg based recipes in this space. Long long ago I had posted this recipe of Egg Mint Curry, so lets move on to the recipe now.

Kerala Mutta Roast is a famous Mallu recipe that goes well with appams, parottas and rice. A simple yet delicious curry that is less spicy and easy to make. The curry/ masala base can be used to make chicken, beef or pork alternatives. If you don't like boiled eggs simple make the thokku as a side for rice or chappati it is still delicious.

Verdict ~ My husband said that this was the best tasting egg curry he has ever tasted, asked me to do this once a week ;-)

Vazhakkai Bajji | Raw Banana Fritters | Indian Fried Snack Recipe

Vazhakkai Bajji is one famous snack in Chennai. You will find loads of  Bajji vendors on Marina Beach who make variety of bajjis using Gunddu Mulagai (Bajji Mulagai), Onion, capsicum, Raw Banana, Potato and so on. They accompany these bajjis with hot chilli sauce or chutney. Every time we visit the beach we never fail to snack on them. So the other day when it was weekend snack time, I made these bajjis and they were all gone in a flash. So I had to do few more just to click some pictures ;-) and boy how I miss them now ;-)

A simple batter is made and the raw bananas are peeled and sliced vertically, dipped in batter, fried and enjoyed. The batter can be made spicy or mild to suit tastebuds but I went the easy way and made it very mild in spice. Nothing can beat the homemade bajjis fried using fresh oil, usually in shops they need to use old oil or keep frying in the same oil the whole day. Reheating and frying using already used oil is not good for health so take care when you eat these deep fried snacks outside.


After a long wait I have finally moved my lil blog to .com :-) so happy to announce this to all my dear readers, friends & family. I still love to call my lil e-baby as a blog rather than as a website. After posting on facebook to a few friends on this news, I kept getting loads of comments, mails & messages as to how I did it? did I get any professional help? So I thought I will tell you all how I went about it...

I did the transition through Blogger via Godaddy, I did it all by myself (btw I am not a technical geek) and within an hour I was able to sync my blog to .com. I hope this helps, I have not given full details of the procedure since it might differ from time to time. I suggest you to browse & learn it all from google, its simple, its easy and anyone can do it. 

I want to thank my dear husband who did this for me :-) 

Priya R
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